Aim: To examine rates and predictors of 7-day readmission in infants hospitalised before 3 months of age with infectious and non-infectious conditions.
Methods: Retrospective population-based data-linkage study of 121 854 infants from a 5-year metropolitan birth cohort (2008–2012). Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine associations between infant and maternal factors with 7-day readmission.
Results: A total of 11 669 (9.6%) infants were hospitalised at least once by 3 months of age (median 23 days old, 56% male) with 12 602 total index hospitalisations. Infection-related conditions accounted for 29.4% (n = 3705). Readmission within 7 days occurred after 4.8% of all index hospitalisations and 5.4% of infection-related hospitalisations. Age ≤21 days was the strongest readmission risk factor (hazard ratio 7.7 (95% confidence interval 4.7–12.7) compared to infants 61–90 days old). Other risk factors included shorter index hospitalisations, younger maternal age and multi-gravidity.
Conclusion: Hospitalisations and readmissions occur for many young infants. Risk factors for readmission should inform risk-based management guidelines.